My life in fragrance – Leigh van den Berg

Next up for My life in fragrance is my hysterical friend, and editor of Lipgloss is my life, Leigh van den Berg.


Leigh van den Berg

Besides being the life and soul of any launch we attend, Leigh spends her time freelance writing for a host of mags, including Cosmo’s sex pages (yes, really). She is never scared to speak her mind, and I love her because she always says what everybody was probably thinking!

And in her own words, she’s “thrilled to have a medium to blab on about all things ‘beauty’.”

What is your earliest fragrance memory?

My Little Pony

Flip, I’m not sure. I used to love the smell of petrol back in the day. That and Zoo biscuits plus brand new My Little Pony’s that were fresh out the box.

What was your first fragrance?

Coty Exclamation

I remember wearing Tinkerbelle ‘perfume’ at first but later succumbed to the vileness that is Coty’s Exclamation around the age of 11. I remember dousing myself in it and feeling fabulously grown up. Looking back, I’m quite sure birds were dropping from the sky in my wake.

What is your favourite everyday fragrance? Why?

Leigh's beach scent - Clarins eau Dynamisante

I couldn’t pick just one. My favourite ‘every day’ scents are Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea for when it’s hot outside; Alien Sunessence when it’s cold (ironically); Clarins eau Dynamisante when I hit the beach (it’s alcohol-free so won’t aggravate sun spots); Versace Signature when I’m doing ‘smart-casual’ and Jennifer Aniston’s EDT (don’t judge me!) for when I just want something easy and ‘clean-smelling’ to just spray on net sommer. I don’t leave the house without perfume as I’d feel naked otherwise.  

What is your special occasion fragrance? Why?

Her favourite Tom Ford

Narciso Rodriguez For Her EDT and Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur EDT. (The latter is supposed to smell like ‘sex and cocaine’!) Both are slightly lighter versions of heavy statement-making eau de parfums. I like that they’re sexy and strong but don’t SCREAM IT IN YOUR FACE like the originals.

Have you found your ‘signature’ scent? What makes it so special to you?

Nope. My taste in fragrances evolves as I age. I don’t want to be the sad old hag wearing a ‘f*ck me’ scent in the retirement village.

What is your best fragrance memory?

Her granny's Coty Imprevu

I love the way my granny used to smell. She used to wear a now discontinued Coty scent called Imprevu which is kinda old and musty and disgusting-smelling but because I associate it with her it’ll always make me happy. I also like the smell of Lucerne sheep pellets. That immediately transports me back to my family’s Merino sheep farm in Graaf-Reinet.

Is there a fragrance that you love the smell of, but it just smells horrid on your skin?

Nah. If it doesn’t work on me that’s probably ‘cos it’s a kak fragrance. ‘Cos the world like totally revolves around me. But of course…

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